Last week we celebrated the fifth birthday of our oldest university branch, the Oxford Hub. There was much to celebrate – in its modest history the Oxford Hub has already coordinated thousands of volunteers, countless speaker events and now annually facilitates four major conferences. This is testament not to our management team, but to the fact that given the right space, students come pre-equipped with all the resources they need to actively pursue a better world, and to inspire others to do the same.
During those five years the Oxford Hub has been joined by others at six other universities – Brookes, Bristol, Cambridge, Imperial, Southampton and Warwick; growth powered by the demands of the very students and unions we are now working with. Beyond this expansion, our ethical internship scheme places over 60 of these students with charities and social enterprises across the UK each summer, and Student Hubs itself has swelled to a full-time staff of 18.
The resulting system is a network of more than 20,000 students, hundreds of partner charities and social enterprises and dozens of staff and consultants. This is a tribe united not only by recognition of the major challenges that are faced by a generation, but more importantly united in the staunch belief that practical solutions to these challenges are within reach.
The overarching aim of this blog, then, is to give a voice to the passion and belief which forms the engine of this tribe, spreading our message as far and wide as we can. From major global challenges like health, poverty and food security to domestic challenges of inequality. From student-led volunteer organisations making a positive difference on a shoestring to how social enterprise is forcing multinationals to build sustainability into their models, revolutionising the markets in the process. From truly altruistic local volunteering to professional development and cv-building social action in the face of widespread unemployment. We will here be giving a voice to anyone and everyone who has something interesting to say… and sometimes I’ll pop back in too.
On a practical note: pitch ideas to email@example.com, and we’re looking for anything from 400-600 words on any of the above. We want students, young professionals, old professionals and unprofessionals so if you have something to say, do let us know.
Time to hand over I think…